Marcus Mariota says his Faith in Christ Keeps him Going in Sports and in Life (Gospel Light Minute #183)

Marcus Mariota
Marcus Mariota

He is an accomplished football quarterback. In high school, he played football and was a standout track and field athlete. As a senior in high school, he led his team to an 11-1 record and the state title while being named Interscholastic League of Honolulu Offensive Player of the Year. He was offered a scholarship to play college football at the University of Oregon and was the starting quarterback for the Ducks from 2012 to 2014.

In 2012, he was named Pac-12 All-Conference 1st Team, Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year, and earning the 2013 Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP Award. In 2013, he earned Pac-12 All-Conference 1st Team honors for the second consecutive year. He was named both Fiesta Bowl MVP and Alamo Bowl MVP, and the Ducks emerged as champions in both the Fiesta Bowl and the Alamo Bowl. In 2014, he was awarded the Davey O’Brien Award, the Walter Camp Award, and the Maxwell Award given to the nation’s best football player. Among many other honors, in 2014, he became the first Duck in the University of Oregon’s history to win the Heisman Trophy. He led his team to victory in the 2015 Rose Bowl and declared for the 2015 NFL Draft a few days after playing in the National Championship.

In an interview with The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he said of his faith: “Being a football player, faith plays a huge role. When things start to get rough you find comfort in your faith. Knowing that no matter what, you can dust yourself off and be okay. And you know you do it for God’s glory. You do it for your teammates, your family, but also for His glory and to represent His name.”

“Going through the challenges of the season, my faith has been the steadying force that’s pushed me, along with my family, my friends and my teammates. Losing — especially here [at Oregon] — is tough. We have high expectations as a program to go and win national championships. It’s a huge pressure, but you learn a lot about yourself through it. [My Coach] has helped me learn that football doesn’t define me. It’s just what I do. That was a huge life lesson for me. I really took that and ran with it. My faith is what keeps me going and I can always grow in that.”

He went on to say, “I think as an athlete when you’re able to go out there and have the abilities that the Lord has blessed you with, you want to glorify Him. You want to go out there to represent Him in the right light. To represent your family in the right light and to do that through His power. Since I’ve been here at Oregon, I think my faith has grown tremendously. In high school, I learned about God and Jesus Christ, but I wasn’t really invested in it. I think getting involved with FCA really introduced me into my walk and into my journey. I’m not perfect, but I’m encouraged everyday to continue to open up in my faith. I’ve learned that no matter what, my faith will guide me. However I play on the field, I know my faith will guide me. After sports, my faith will guide me. As I’ve grown in my faith, that’s something that’s given me comfort. God has taught me that I can trust in Him. No matter what–whether things are good or bad — I know I can always trust in Him. And that has really allowed me to go All In for Him.”

His name is Marcus Mariota.

This is the “Chief of Sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me. Just as Marcus Mariota gave his life to Christ, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Remember, friend, Believe by faith. Share the faith. and Keep the faith!

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